The signees are Ashley Thomas, a 6-2 senior forward from Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Ill.; Anya Covington, a 6-2 senior forward from Edwardsville, Ill., Jamie Russell, a 5-7 senior guard from Rock Falls, Ill., and Jade Davis, a 5-9 senior guard from Lone Tree, Colo., a suburb of Denver. She is the first Badger recruit to ever sign with Wisconsin from the mile-high state.
Thomas, who is from Glenview, Ill., averaged 12 points, six rebounds, three steals, three assists and two blocks per game as a junior. She was named an all-conference player as a freshman and sophomore and was a fourth-team all-state selection and a Street & Smith honorable mention All-American in 2007. With a year to play she ranks in the top 10 in school scoring, top two in blocks and top four in free throw percentage. She has attended the adidas All-American camp since 2004, and was named all-tournament at the Nike Tournament in Memphis in 2007. She is a three-time academic honor roll member at Loyola Academy. Thomas and future teammate Jamie Russell both played for the Illinois Full-Package AAU team.
Covington averaged 15.9 points and 9.6 rebounds and collected 16 double-doubles in her junior season at Edwardsville High School. An All-American nominee who is the fifth ranked power forward in the nation according to the All-Star Girls Report recruiting publication, she plays AAU basketball with Chicago Hoops Express, the same AAU team for which UW guard Teah Gant also played. She earned first team all-conference and second team all-state honors last year while leading her team to the IHSA quarter-finals. A National Honor Society member who maintains a 3.8 grade point average, she received the 2007 Gateway Classic Sports Foundation Scholar Athlete Award. A three-sport athlete, she is also a first-team all-conference performer in both volleyball and track and field.
Russell averaged 21.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.7 steals and 3.6 assists as a junior at Rock Hill High School. She earned first team all-conference the last two years and was honorable mention as a freshman. She was named Illinois Class 1A All-State honorable mention in 2005 and 2007. A team MVP three years, she was named to the 2006-07 All-tournament teams for the Sauk Valley Bank Shootout and Harlem Christmas Tournament. She is the school career points leader through three seasons with 1,269 points (16.3 career average), and the career steals leader with 371 for a 4.8 career average. She was a successful Golden Gloves amateur boxer at age 11 and won 11 bouts, including nine bouts against boys.
Davis averaged 12 points, 4.5 rebounds 3.5 steals and four assists per game in her junior season is a senior at Highlands Ranch High School. The Falcons have won back-to-back Class 5A titles with team records of 24-3 in 2005-06, and 25-3 in 2006-07. Davis earned Continenal League Second Team honors last year, and league honorable mention honors as a sophomore. She was named Colorado Class 5A All-State Honorable Mention in 2007. A three-year letter winner in basketball, Davis is also a four-year letter winner in cross country.